The unique amber sound of the Orchestra has originated in a unique place at the Baltic Sea – in Liepāja.

Koehler and Arnold on the stage of Great Amber

On 12 March at 6 pm in the Great Hall of Liepāja Concert Hall “GREAT AMBER” the 24th Liepāja International Stars Festival concert will feature Liepāja Symphony Orchestra, conducted by professor Lutz Koehler from Germany, and Indian pianist Sheila Arnold. 

The pianistic traditions of the festival will becarried on by theIndian born pianist from Germany Sheila Arnold, who together with Liepāja Symphony Orchestra and the well-known conducting professor from Germany Lutz Koehler will perform the only full-scale piano concerto written by Schumann – the romantic Piano Concerto in A minor.

Incidentally, Sheila Arnold studied with Lutz Koehler’s wife, pianist Heidi Koehler and it was Lutz Koehler who helped to launch her career. “They have not seen each other for several years. It will be a pleasant reunion,” says the artistic director of the festival Atvars Lakstīgala.

Sheila Arnold is a pianist who feels equally at ease with contemporary grand piano and period keyboard instruments. Her repertoire ranges from the 18th century music to world premieres of contemporary music. International media have praised her professional versatility. German media describes her with following superlatives: “Amazing and colourful sound combined with technical mastery of performance.”
The career of the Indian born pianist from Germany began with outstanding successes at international competitions, various scholarships and awards followed by regular appearances onthe international music scene. The pianist has performed in many famous concert halls of Europe, collaborated with well-known orchestras, has been invited to give concerts at many international festivals in the United States and in Europe.

Critics and listeners worldwide constantly praise Sheila Arnold’s performances of Mozart’s music. The CD released in 2010 with music by Brahms and Schuman was included in the selection of French journal of classical music Classica. In 2014,Sheila Arnoldtogether with other outstanding musicians participated in the recording of Pēteris Vasks’ early work “Aria e danza” for flute and piano.

The concert on 12 March will begin with a dramatic poem of Schumann in three parts – his Manfred Overture, based on Lord Byron’s poetry. Music historian Peter Ostwald wrote that Schumann composed the Overture during theperiod when he was suffering from "inner voices," or auditory hallucinations. The concert will end with Johannes Brahms’s First Symphony which took the composer 21 years to complete.

This will be the first time that the principal guest conductor of Liepāja Symphony Orchestra Lutz Koehler conducts the orchestra in the Concert Hall “GREAT AMBER”. The Miami Herald writes about the outstanding Lutz Koehler who currently is Professor with Berlin University of Arts and Jāzeps Vītols Latvian Academy of Music: “Koehler has rich imagination; he is a sensitive and explorative musician. His performanceshave amazingly elastic phrasing and great attention to the smallest changes in tonal and dynamic gradations. He is a Musician!” The special issue of Das Orchester points out that symphonic excerpts from Wagner’s opera music conducted by Lutz Koehler remind of the legendary Wilhelm Furtwängler.